Monday, June 29, 2015

Journey Off My Map

Last week was Vacation Bible School at my church.  Being a kid at heart, I love bible school and enjoy working with the children.  I adore seeing the smiles on children’s faces and watching their excitement.

Well, I signed up to work and said put me where I am needed.  I have served as VBS director, taught the bible lessons, co-directed the musical dramas, wrangled kids in recreation, served up yummy, fun snacks, and even pretended to be an artist in crafts.  I felt I could do whatever our children’s minister needed me to do.  Imagine the shocked look on my face when our children’s minister said, “Great!  We need a mission teacher in the preschool area.”  WHAT?!  Eek!  Cue up the Jaws movie theme and pass the chocolate!
Let me tell you this up front.  Preschoolers are precious and adorable.  I mean I have a sweet two year old grandson whom I love dearly.  However, lock me in a room full of wiggly, constant noise makers and I panic!

Now I have a college degree and have been a pastor’s wife for 37 years.  You would think an educated, seasoned pastor’s wife could leap in and handle toddlers.  Nope, I am inadequate.  Seriously, how do you capture their attention and teach a lesson while dragging two tots out of the kitchen play area and keep four more from running in circles around the room.  Then you turn back around after gathering the escapees and discover the rest of the toddlers have taken flight. This preschool challenge was definitely a journey off my map of knowledge and strength.

Vacation Bible School began at 9 a.m. and by 9:15 a.m., I was completely overwhelmed.  The room was total chaos.  I left Monday weary and almost in tears.  However, I was determined not to be completely defeated.  I spent the first afternoon of VBS gathering coloring sheets, stickers and rewards.  Tuesday dawned and for the first time in my life VBS was not where I wanted to be.  My joy was gone.  That is when God and I had a conversation.  My gift is working with teenagers, but if preschool is where God needed me to be, I would trudge through this uncharted adventure.

Surprise!  Although the week was not without little tikes fighting over toys and crying toddlers (and sometime this girl), I survived.  My greatest joy was seeing my two year old grandson, Gideon, smiling from ear to ear and talking about Jesus. 

Sometimes the uncharted journey off our map is exactly what God desires.  Our paths are sometimes not where God wants us to go and that is when He pulls us kicking and screaming in the direction He wants us to go.  It is my hope that this crazy, scared pastor’s wife said something to these babies that will resonate with them when they are older.

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